Is faster better?

After a long history of plodding along the surface of the earth, man suddenly can move at such accelerated speeds.

IntroducedMethodMPHTime to go 600 miles
 Walking3200 hrs (20 days)

60 hrs (10 days)
1000-2000 BCHorse4-2030-150 hrs
~1820 ADTrain


20 hrs
6-10 hrs
2 hrs
~1900 ADCar6010 hrs


3-6 hrs
1-1.5 hrs
   Orbital vel.
   Escape vel.


12 minutes
<= 1.5 minutes

As a general rule, assuming good roads and a good car, a car goes as far in a ten-hour day (600 miles) as a commercial airliner flies in an hour. So if you are in the mood to travel ten hours a day you can readily estimate driving time by referring to an airline schedule and multiplying its hours by days for the car. A three-hour flight from Chicago to San Francisco is a three-day drive. Basically, ten times airliner hours equals car hours.

We use an airplane for three basic activities: getting there faster, looking at the two-dimensional world from above, and playing in the third dimension. The latter two interest me more than the first. My car usually can get me there fast enough. But it cannot provide me with these other two fascinating functions. Several other uses really belong to these three basic activities.

ActivityTransport ObservationPlaying
Moving people/goodsx  
Observation platform x 
Recreation  x
Weapons systemxx 
A Cranex  
A Water Bucketx  
An Advertising platform x (looking up) 

The window where you came from.
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Added links: Nov 2014
Copyright © 2002 Mike Metras,